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23 February 2015

One Name Study: Where's Ida Townsend in 1880

Townsends of Franklin County, Ohio One Name Place Study
Last time, I shared the fact that I'm starting a one name study of Townsends in Franklin County, Ohio. Prior to digging into the study, I shared what I know about William James Townsends family. I have been as reasonably exhaustive as I am able within the constraints of time, location, and funds.

However, there is something I could do and that is research all the Townsends in Franklin County, Ohio. I am limiting my scope to those families I find in the 1880 US Census all because of William's daughter Ida.

Ida Jane Townsend was born 25 April 1867 in Hamilton Township, Franklin County1, Ohio. She is the second oldest of William and Mary (Clabaugh) Townsend's 10 children. Here are some other facts I know about Ida:
  • 1870 resides in Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio2
  • 1880 is not listed in the home of her parents3
  • 14 Nov 1885 marries Lawrence (or Loren) Sanborn in Franklin County, Ohio4
  • 13 Nov 1889 her father William Townsend dies5
    • by this time, Ida has had three children: Albert, Elmer and Vernie
    • Ida Sanborn will assist her mother obtain her pension by completing witness affidavits
  • 1892 & 1898 has two more children, which name variations reflecting her siblings: John Edward and Harry Leroy
  • 1900 - 1941 lives in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio6
  • 1907 prior to 1907 her husband Laurence dies (death certificate still needed)7
  • 20 May 1941 Ida Sanborn dies in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio8

There is a question... where is Ida in 1880? She's not living with her parents. Let's take a look at who could be living With William and Mary in 1880. 
  1. Nancy Elizabeth  b. 1865
  2. Ida Jane  b. 1867
  3. William James 1868
  4. Mary Ella b. 1869
  5. John Edward b. 1873
  6. Louisa b. 1875
  7. Harry A b. 1877
  8. Emma V b. 1880
Of the above listed children, only William, John, Harry and Emma are in the family household.3 Mary Ella had died in 1874. It is believed that Louisa also died prior to 1880 as she would have been 5 and certainly too young not to live at home.

That leaves Nancy and Ida unaccounted for in the 1880 Census. Both girls are 15 and 13 years of age respectively and believed too young to marry in the 1880. They should be living with their parents. However, when remembering the fact that William Townsend was a blind farmer, it's entirely probable that the girls are living else where to help their family financially. So the question becomes where are they?

I found a record for Ida Townsend in the home of Edward Townsend.9 Thanks to the census being from 1880, the relationship to Edward is listed. The informant said Ida is Edward's niece. Edward is living in Groveport, Franklin, Ohio and is a farmer.  There do not seem to be any other Ida Townsends in Franklin County at the time. 

Given that the center of Groveport to the Center of Hamilton is 11 miles and both are south of Obetz, where the 'family' cemetery is located, this probability that Edward is William's brother is strong. Additionally, Edward is listed at being born in 1855. Close enough to be a brother 13 years younger, assuming this census entry is accurate. 

The trouble comes when examining the census further. It is uncertain who provided the information regarding the original of William and Edward's parents. The census taker recorded that Edward's parents are from Maryland and William's parents are from Ohio. Is someone right? Is someone wrong? 

I am intrigued to learn more about  Edward Townsend of Groveport, Ohio in 1880. I'd still like to find out where Nancy is in the 1880 Census as well. Perhaps she is with other Townsend family members in the 1880s. Perhaps I'll discover more possible relatives of William and/or Edward.

Previous Post:
What I Know about Ida's father

Additional Reading:
Who Else is in 1880? That's Everyone Now What?

1. Family Search, "Ohio Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, and 1958-2007" database, (http:/ : Entry for Ida Jane Sanborn, died 20 May 1941 Source Film: 4035642, Reference No: fn 29964.
2. "United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 January 2015), Ida Townsen in household of William Townsen, Ohio, United States; citing p. 43, family 298, NARA microfilm publication M593, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 552,699.
3. "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 January 2015), William Townsend, Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio, United States, 9; citing sheet 
188A, film number 1015, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1,255,015.
4. "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 January 2015), Loren H. Sanborn and Ida J. Townsen, 14 Nov 1885; citing Franklin, Ohio, United States, reference p233; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,150.
5.  Civil War Pension file for William James Townson Col K  Reg 133rd; Franklin County Chapter of The Ohio Genealogical Society, compiled, Franklin County, Ohio Cemeteries: Vol I - XI (N.p.: n.p., 1980-1987, 1997), IX :70, William James Townsend. 
6. Numerous additional records available upon request
7. Ida Sanborn, Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1907. Images available U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
8. "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 January 2015), Ida Jane Sanborn, 20 May 1941; citing Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, reference fn 29964; FHL microfilm 2,023,915.
9. "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 January 2015), Ida J Townsend in household of Edward Townsend, Groveport, Franklin, Ohio, United States, 13; citing sheet 261C, film number 1015, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1,255,015.


  1. If you can get your Townsends back to upstate New York or Massachusetts, we may have a cousin connection! I'm trying to confirm my Townsend line and hope to post a Surname Saturday post within a couple of weeks (once I have time to confirm some of the secondary source information I've found).

    1. Elizabeth.. I'd love to make a cousin connection. Whenever I see your Townsend posts, the longing beings. Thus far, I have found a few Townsends who came to Ohio from new York, Connecticut, and possibly Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I can't establish a link for those Townsends to my Civil War ancestor that I've blogged about before. Perhaps I'll find a lost relative of yours? Wouldn't that be fun.


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